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King Soopers employees' union approves new agreement after strike

Union members voted Monday to ratify a new three-year contract with the grocery chain, officially ending the strike.

COLORADO, USA — Members of the labor union representing King Soopers employees in Colorado have ratified the agreement reached Friday between the union and the grocery chain. 

King Soopers and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 (UFCW) announced early Friday morning they had reached a tentative agreement to end the union's 10-day strike.

Employees voted in two sessions Monday at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport. UFCW President Kim Cordova said they "voted overwhelmingly to ratify this industry-leading contract." 

There are also three votes in the Colorado Springs area scheduled for 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday. Those votes will take place at Hotel Alta at 2886 S. Circle Dr. in Colorado Springs.

The highlights of the agreement include:

  • Wage increases of at least $2 an hour in the first year of the contract. Some workers will receive wage increases in excess of $5 per hour, the union said.
  • A higher company contribution to healthcare benefits.
  • Improvements to holiday and sick leave.
  • 500 new full-time positions to be added within 90 days of the agreement being ratified.
  • Employees will be paid for unused vacation, instead of the current use-it-or-lose-it policy.
  • Several new safety enhancements at stores regarding dangerous emergencies and COVID protections.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) met virtually Monday evening with the union and its workers.

PREVIOUS: Strike ends: King Soopers, UFCW Local 7 reach tentative agreement

The workers' strike ended immediately after the tentative agreement was reached, and workers could return to work Friday, UFCW said in a release.

From the beginning of this process, we promised our members that we would procure the very best contract we could," Cordova said in a statement Monday. "We are excited that our members voted overwhelmingly to ratify this industry-leading contract that will ensure King Soopers will respect and protect Essential Workers as well as pay them fairly."

"Getting here has been arduous," the statement continued. "Full credit goes to the bargaining committee and workers who made their voices heard through negotiating, standing united at the picket line, or sharing their stories with the media. This fight was always about them, and now they have a contract they deserve and can be proud of."

“Our goal since day one has been to put more money in our associates’ paychecks, and we are thrilled that our associates in the Denver metro bargaining area have voted yes on this offer," Joe Kelley, president of King Soopers and City Market, said in a statement.

PREVIOUS: What the union and King Soopers are saying as strike enters second week

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